American Giants Museum

Atlanta, Illinois

IllinoisMuseumRoadside Attraction

The American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois pays tribute to Muffler Men and other oversized fiberglass creations that once were a mainstay of American advertising.

Muffler Men roadside attractions are fiberglass giants who stand anywhere from 14 to 25 feet tall. Each has a similar build and was built between 1963 and 1972 by International Fiberglass in Venice, California. With signature stances, these big men stood outside gas stations, muffler shops, and a variety of other businesses to call attention from the road. More than 500 of these giants were made in their heyday, but only around 200 are still around today.

The American Giants Museum celebrates and appreciates these muffler men, along with all the other fiberglass advertising icons once created by International Fiberglass. Located on the 1926 alignment of Route 66, in the heart of Atlanta, Illinois, it’s an appropriate spot seeing as Atlanta was already home to one of the best Route 66 muffler men in Illinois, and all of the Mother Road: the Paul Bunyon hot-dog carrying muffler man.

The museum is housed in a building designed to resemble a vintage service station, complete with a pair of customized red gas pumps outside that sport the museum’s logo. A giant Texaco banjo sign towers over the building and a growing collection of muffler men, including a rare Texaco Big Friend, keep watch over the property while serving as fantastic photo ops for curious road trippers.

Currently, there are two muffler men on display outside of the museum: a Mad-Magazine-esque Snerd Giant and a larger-than-life Texaco Big Friend. But more of these giants are coming soon (including a Viking Carpet King), with a goal of having six on display by the end of 2026, the centennial of Route 66, making it the largest single collection of muffler men anywhere along Route 66. The giants will be displayed in the adjoining Land of the Giants Rest Stop overlooking picnic tables and a vintage bubbler drinking fountain.

Inside the American Giants Museum, you can explore the fascinating history of these fiberglass advertising icons. Informative displays tell the story of Muffler Men (then simply known as Giant Men) and other fiberglass creations that were born as advertising gimmicks in the 1960s and 70s. Find molds, body parts, memorabilia, photos, documents, files, and more in the small but impressive showroom. Look for an 11-foot Gas Station Waving Guy statue (“The Professional”), a Mama Burger and Baby Burger from A&W Root Beer, A Miss Uniroyal Gal leg and foot, a Tomahawk once held by an Indian muffler man, and a 7-foot-long Esso tiger. You can also find bits and bobs of memorabilia, like an original shipping label and product catalog.

The American Giants Museum is operated by the Atlanta Betterment Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to make Atlanta a better place to live, by supporting its business, civic and religious organizations.

The organization is working with Joel Baker of American Giants, the nation’s leading expert on muffler men and the fiberglass statues produced in the 1960s by International Fiberglass Company.

The American Giants Museum building was constructed the first week of October 2022 and had its official grand opening on May 26, 2024.

Last modified: June 5, 2024
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American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66

American Giants Museum

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Address:
100 SW Arch St, Atlanta, IL 61723

Hours:
10:00am - 4:00pm (Tuesday - Saturday, Seasonal)
Closed (Sunday - Monday)

Cost:
Free

Phone Number:
(217) 871-7557

Official Website

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Photos of the ​​American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois

American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Fiberglass Tomahawk at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Texaco Big Friend Display at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Fiberglass icons inside the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Fiberglass icons inside the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Fiberglass icons inside the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Mama Burger and Baby Burger A&W Happy Family figures at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Miss Uniroyal Gal leg and shoe at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
The Professional FIberglass statue at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Land of the Giants Rest Stop at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Snerd Giant muffler man roadside attraction in Atlanta, Illinois at the American Giants Museum on Route 66
Snerd Giant muffler man roadside attraction in Atlanta, Illinois at the American Giants Museum on Route 66
Texaco Banjo Sign at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Texaco Big Friend muffler man at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois
Texaco Big Friend muffler man at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois
American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
Snerd Giant muffler man roadside attraction in Atlanta, Illinois at the American Giants Museum on Route 66
American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66
American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on Route 66

Know Before You Go

To make the most of your visit to the ​​American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois, here are some things to know before you go.

  • The museum’s hours are seasonal. Regardless of operating status, the muffler men and Land of the Giants Rest Stop are available and visible for photo ops.
  • Parking is available on the street or in a community lot across the street.
  • The entrance to the museum is stair-free and handicapped parking is available.
  • An accessible, unisex restroom is available for public use at the museum during regular hours of operation.

Where to Stay Near the ​​American Giants Museum

Complete your travel itinerary and get a good night’s rest with a stay at one of these nearby hotels on Illinois Route 66.

The Trail Inn

The Trail Inn is a local motel that features clean rooms, contactless check-in, and even muffler man art in the lobby. The most convenient motel to downtown Atlanta, the location allows you to stay a while in town to take in all the best attractions in the area. Plus, with a gas station right across the street, it’s easy to fuel up your car or stock up on snacks.

Vrooman Mansion Bed and Breakfast

Vrooman Mansion Bed and Breakfast is located off Route 66 in the heart of Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. The Vrooman Mansion is a historical 1869 estate, with seven suites to choose from, all with private baths and access to beautiful common areas like the library, parlor, sitting rooms, and manicured grounds.

State House Inn

State House Inn, a landmark hotel in Springfield, Illinois, features a business center, gym, ironing service, and complimentary breakfast with a convenient location directly across the street from the Illinois State Capitol. Book a stay in one of the two themed Presidential Suites: the Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd.

Attractions Near the American Giants Museum on Route 66

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